Here are some of the best food stories we came across this week:
- Trans Fat Ban in NYC has Lowered Consumption – New York City’s pioneering ban on all but the smallest amounts of trans fats in restaurant food in 2008 has resulted in a significant reduction in consumption of the unhealthy fat: Diners have consumed 2.4 fewer grams of trans fats per lunch, which should mean better health, researchers say. The study from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene also shows the very real role that fast food chains, coffee shops and other food retailers can play in improving public health.
- Bananas Work Just as Well as Gatorade – A U.S. study published in Plos One has found that eating bananas was as effective as PepsiCo’s Gatorade for nutritional support in cyclists participating in intense, prolonged exercise. The only downside for the athletes was feeling full or experiencing some minor bloating for those who ingested six or seven bananas (which have almost 15 grams of dietary fiber) during a two to three hour period of cycling.
- Obama vs. Romney on Agriculture Policy – As the controversy surrounding the renewal of the Farm Bill reaches a fever pitch, smack in the middle of an election year, voters want to know where the candidates stand on food: Pizza is a vegetable? Farm subsidies are a national security issue? Food Republic offers a helpful cheat sheet that breaks down Obama’s record and presumptive nominee Romney’s stated (and sometimes changing) positions.
- FDA Finally Bans BPA in Baby Bottles – Umm, duh? While the FDA rejected the Natural Resources Defense Council’s efforts at banning bisphenol-A, or BPA, in all consumer products last March, this week it officially banned the substance in all baby bottles and sippy cups. However, the ban is essentially an exercise in posturing since manufacturers have already stopped using BPA in bottles and sippy cups in response to consumer pressure and the efforts of advocacy groups.
- New Food Allergy Treatment is Promising for Kids – A study conducted by University of North Carolina School of Medicine found that a significant percentage of kids with food allergies were able to develop partial or full immunity via a process called immunotherapy. The children were exposed to the offending food in a controlled environment in increasingly larger doses. After 22 months of treatment, 75% of the kids were considered “desensitized” to the food. (Please do not try this at home.) Want to learn more? Participate in a live facebook chat about the study on Tuesday, July 24th, at 12:30pm EST.
Photo courtesy of Neil Conway.